Ballard HS student arrested after seen with firearm, school secured

VIDEO: Student arrested, Ballard High School on lockdown

BALLARD, Wash. — A Ballard High School student was arrested off campus after reportedly being seen with a firearm, Seattle Public Schools confirmed on Thursday.

QUICK FACTS: 

  • Student arrested off campus
  • Teenage male student reportedly seen with firearm
  • No injuries reported
  • School secured, student release underway


Ballard High School in Seattle was placed on lockdown Thursday morning because a student reported seeing another student with a gun.

As of Friday, police interviewed and released the Ballard High School student who prompted the lockdown. The freshman did not have a gun. The student is back with his parents.

The boy was arrested at a nearby fast-food restaurant, and at least one other student with him was being questioned for possible involvement, according to Seattle Police.

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Just after 11:00 a.m., officers and SWAT members were called because of what officers believed was a specific and credible report.

Student Jesse Niemer said the first indication he had that anything was wrong was when he saw police activity as he was heading back to campus after eating at a nearby Thai restaurant. “We saw the K-9 guy with just this big, big assault rifle and up to five other cops walking” around his school.

Students inside Ballard High School at the time were placed on lockdown.

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Most students coming back to campus from lunch were told to go home.

“We didn’t have any idea what was going on,” student Monty Miller told KIRO 7. “So it was kind of scary.”

“It didn’t seem scary at first, and then 20 minutes went by with no news,” student Lilly Krolopp said.

That’s when she and the students around her started searching their cellphones and social media for answers.

Eugene Cho’s two daughters attend Ballard.

He came to the school as soon as his daughters “texted me that there was a lockdown,” Cho said.  “All they said is, there are a bunch of SWAT officers outside.”

According to the Seattle Police Department, the entire school was searched for what was described as a handgun.

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“Everything is under control,” Captain Sean O’Donnell said around 2:30 p.m. “All the students are safe and we have not located a weapon at this time.”

A post on the Seattle Police Department’s blog on Thursday reported that the boy taken into custody goes to Ballard, but didn’t release any more details.

Students at the school told KIRO 7 the suspect is a freshman who’s been in trouble before.

“I know the kid that was the cause of this. I sit with him in Spanish,” Isaac Lamont said.

When asked whether the suspect is a “good kid,” Lamont responded “questionable.”

All the students KIRO 7 spoke with appreciated the police response, even though no weapon was found.

“A lot of kids can talk, but you never know what’s going to happen,” Senior Jerome Nathan said.

“You can’t ever be too careful in this sort of situation,” Lino Marioni added. “Luckily, no one did get hurt but I definitely think police did the right thing.”

Emma Smith also praised the response of her school: “I’m just thankful that no one got hurt and the teachers and the staff did a really good job.”

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